Split Pea Soup Recipe with Bacon and Goat Cheese Crouton

Is everyone ready for Thanksgiving Day yet?  I know I am.  I’ve got my recipes picked out, and we’re sitting nice and cozy up here in upstate New York having a blast visiting with my in-laws.  I’ve got a nice little recipe for you today, hope you like it!

Split Pea Soup with Bacon and Goat Cheese Crouton

OK, tomorrow’s turkey day indulgence aside, lately Jeremy and I have been eating healthier but also tastier! Case in point – this split pea soup recipe.  Did I mention that it’s got bacon in it? And on top? What about the goat cheese crouton? Oh we haven’t talked about that yet? Well, let’s get to it!

This recipe is the perfect balance of healthy indulgence.  At its core this split pea soup is a healthy, hearty dish.  To elevate the flavor profile, I’ve used 6 total slices of bacon (a moderate amount), and each bowl should be topped with a goat cheese crouton, which is 1/4 of a bread slice smeared with a light layer of goat cheese.  This is definitely a split pea soup I can get behind!

Split Pea Soup with Bacon and Goat Cheese Crouton

The ingredient list is very straightforward.  We start with some familiar favorites: olive oil, bacon, onion, celery and garlic.  So far, so good.  Next we turn this into a soup by adding a blend of chicken stock and water.  You can go all chicken stock if you like, but I prefer to add a little water to mine.  It’s a bit more cost-effective and since this soup is a little heavy, the water does provide some respite. Finally, we season this up with garlic powder, onion powder, celery salt, and ground coriander.  The last ingredient added is the split peas.

In this recipe, I’ve used split green peas.  A couple of months ago my friend Katherine gave me an assortment of legumes and starches.  She was clearing out her pantry to go sugar and gluten-free.  Guess who won there (it’s me).  Well, also her because she’s now living a healthier life-style.  Which I can always get behind.

Split Green Peas

Anyway, back to split green peas.  Split peas are actually just peas that have been dried, peeled and split in half.  It’s a way of preserving the peas,  much like we dry beans and lentils.  The best thing about split peas is that they are high in protein and low in fat content.  Plus they are a complex carbohydrate so they take longer to break down in your body, thus providing more nutrients.  These practically beg to have bacon and cheese added to them.  So I did it.  And it definitely improved the flavor profile.

When cooking split peas, be sure to season well.  They are very bland by nature so appropriate amounts of salt and fat are needed to get them tasting good to our Western palates.  Between the bacon and chicken stock, lots of flavor and some salt is added to the mix.  If you use chicken broth instead of stock, you’ll get an even bigger flavor boost since broth contains salt and stock does not.

Be sure to purée this soup before serving.  This will give it the characteristic smooth look and make the whole dish more palatable.  Which is always important.  If you’ve not gotten immersion blender by now, what are you waiting for?  They are very affordable and make having puréed soups very, very easy.

Split Pea Soup with Bacon and Goat Cheese Crouton

This soup does freeze well.  Just place it in freezer Ziploc bags and be sure to label it with the cook date.  I freeze lots of soups so that we can eat them later on.  Definitely a good way to not have to cook every day! This works especially well since it’s just Jeremy and me.  I know it can be challenging to have leftovers when you have a big family. But you could also make this soup and just straight up freeze all of it for later.  It’s really whatever you want to do!

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, on to the recipe!

Yield: 6-8 servings

Split Pea Soup Recipe with Bacon and Goat Cheese Crouton

This split pea soup is taken up to another level with the addition of bacon not only in the soup but also the crumbled bacon topping paired with a creamy goat cheese crouton.

Ingredients:

Soup:
  • 1/4 cup light olive oil
  • 4 strips of bacon, chopped
  • 2 cup diced onions (about 2 small onions)
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon celery salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 pound split green peas
Garnish:
  • 2 slices of bacon, cooked crispy & crumbled
  • Goat cheese crouton (recipe below)
Goat Cheese Crouton:
  • 3 tablespoons goat cheese
  • 2 slices of sourdough bread

Method:

  1. Heat the olive oil in a soup pot over medium high heat.
  2. Add the bacon and cook about 3 minutes until slightly browned and rendered.
  3. Add the onions, celery, salt, and cayenne pepper. Stir well. Cook for about 10 minutes until onions are caramelized and softened.
  4. Next add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about one minute.
  5. Stir in the chicken stock, water, garlic powder, onion powder, celery salt and coriander next. Bring that up to a boil and reduce to a simmer.
  6. Add the split green peas, cover the pot and cook at a simmer for about an hour. Stir about every 10 minutes to avoid sticking.
  7. While the soup is simmering prepare the bacon bits and goat cheese crouton: Cook the bacon until crispy. Set on paper towels till cooled then crumble. For the goat cheese crouton - Remove crust from each slice of bread then smear each slice with half the goat cheese. Place in toaster oven for 4 minutes or so until bread is crispy and cheese is soft and warm. Cut into quarters and set aside until soup is ready to serve.
  8. Once the soup is ready, purée it with an immersion blender until smooth.
  9. Finally, ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with crispy bacon bits and a goat cheese crouton.

Prep:20 min

Cook:1 hour 20 min

Total:1 hour 40 min

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